Virtual Banks in Hong Kong and their account opening benefits
Since March 2019, Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) starts approving virtual bank licenses. So far there are 8 enterprises getting the license.
║ Virtual Banks ║ Main Investors ║ Website ║
║ LIVI VB LIMITED ║ BOC(HK),JD Digits,Jardines ║ Link ║
║ MOX BANK LIMITED ║ SCHK,PCCW Limited,HKT,Ctrip ║ Link ║
║ ZA Bank ║ ZA International ║ Link ║
║ WeLab Bank ║ WeLab ║ Link ║
║ Ant Bank ║ Ant Financial ║ Link ║
║ Airstar Bank ║ Xiaomi and AMTD Group ║ Link ║
║ Fusion Bank ║Tencent,ICBC,Hillhouse Capital║ Link ║
║ PAO Bank ║ PingAn ║ Link ║
Data last updated: November 2020
What is Virtual Bank?
Virtual bank is defined as a bank which primarily delivers retail banking services through the internet or other forms of electronic channels instead of physical branches. Traditional banks who have physical branches, though they might have mobile e-banking apps, will not be considered as virtual banks.
Is Virtual Bank safe?
Virtual banks are subject to the same set of supervisory requirements applicable to conventional banks. The supervisory approach and regulatory requirements applicable to all banks can be found in the Regulatory & Supervisory Framework, Supervisory Policy Manual, Guidelines, and Circulars. That said, some of the supervisory requirements are adapted to suit the business models of virtual banks under a risk-based and technology-neutral approach.
Promotional Offer Comparison
- 1% p.a. daily interest rate
- 5% super CashBack when spending at their Founding Merchants up to HKD1,000 till 31 December 2020.
- 1% unlimited CashBack everywhere else
- Comes with a physical MasterCard credit card
- Advantage(s): daily interest rate, nice user interface
- up to 8% cash rebate wherever spending with their debit card (cash rebate upper limit HK$1,210)
- up to 1.2% p.a. time deposit rates (3-month deposit, max HK$50,000): if more people joined the time deposit, the deposit rate will be higher.
- Comes with a physical Debit card
- Advantage(s): nice user interface, attractive cash rebate rate
- Disadvantage(s): the saving interest rate is low.
- 0.5% p.a. interest rate (first HK$500,000); once made a purchase via QR Payment (T&C apply), the interest rate will increase to 3% p.a.
- until 31 December 2020, account opening can earn up to 20,000 yuu points; once referred a friend, you can get 18,000 yuu points for each friend you referred.
- Every time you made a QR Payment, you can shake the phone and enjoy a cash reward for next purchase.
- My referral code: y8fuhre9
- Disadvantage(s): No biometric login, Difficult to scan the HKID card when registering an account
- 5% p.a. interest rate (first HK$50,000) for 6 months
- HKD/USD/CNY accounts available
- Personal loan: APR as low as 1.85% (no transaction fee)
- Advantage(s): Has multiple currencies
- Disadvantage(s): No biometric login, poor user interface
- 1% p.a. Interest rate (first HK$500,000)
- Up to 1.08% p.a. HKD Time deposit interest rate
- Comes with a physical Visa credit card
- Has various ways to earn ZA Coin, which can convert to HKD
- Personal Loan rate is attractive (0.07% flat rate of a loan HK$200,000 or above and tenor of 6 - 24 months). APR as low as 1.45%
- Advantage(s): can customize the Visa card last 6 digits, has multiple currencies
- Disadvantage(s): confusing user interface
- My referral code: FW95A2
Money In & Out
Transferring money from & to virtual bank accounts is easy. You can use FPS to transfer money between accounts instantly, with no transaction fee.
Mini Interest-Earning Guide
Airstar Bank has the highest interest rate (5% p.a.). If you have less than $50,000, I suggest you can deposit your money there.
If you can activate the higher tier of the interest rate at Livi Bank (via one QR payment), it is also a good choice, as its interest rate is at 3% p.a. (max $500,000).
Alternatively, MOX Bank has an attractive interest rate as well (1% p.a. daily interest rate). If you have extra money, you can deposit to MOX Bank. As its interest rate is calculated daily, your interest will roll like a snowball. Yay.
If you are interested in time deposits, WeLab Bank offers up to 1.2% p.a. 3-month deposit.
This article is not affiliated or sponsored by any banks mentioned above.